Today while my own four dogs were anticipating a possible outing with some excitement, I tried a very simple experiment on influencing their behaviour.
Five whole minutes of moving VEEEERRY SLOOOOOOOW MOTION. Like a robot. Like a video played very slow speed.
People say that dogs look like their owners – probably because we pick dogs that look like ourselves! More seriously, we know our dogs pick up on our emotions.
They are influenced by what we do and how we feel.
Stephen Adams wrote in The Telegraph back in 2010, ‘Just like children, they adopt a ‘look and learn’ approach which means they cannot help but mimic humans’ actions when going about canine tasks…..Biologists and psychologists at the universities of Vienna and Oxford collaborated to design an experiment to test the theory that dogs do have a “social” capacity to copy what they see’. The article goes into some detail.
Caroline Kisko, from The Kennel Club, commented: “We hope that owners understand the importance of their actions and use this knowledge to set good examples and therefore positively influence the behaviour of their pets.”
A couple of years later Claudia Fugazza and others developed ‘Do As I Do‘ as a training method based on mimicry.
Try my slo mo experiment when your dogs are awake and active and see what, if anything, happens!